It was a big moment involving the biggest player in the game.
Fremantle had closed to within three points of North Melbourne midway through the final term at a wet Optus Stadium when Aaron Sandilands went to shepherd for teammate Stephen Hill.
But the ruckman’s decision backfired. Sandilands clashed heads with Kangaroo Sam Durdin while executing the bump, with both players coming off worse for wear.
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The 35-year-old Docker headed straight to the bench and failed to return, while a blindsided Durdin was also left dazed by the hit.
In Sandilands’ absence, the Roos were able to find the edge at the all-important stoppages and pile on the final four goals of the game to record the 28-point win.
The hit means Sandilands is under a cloud to make the trip to Melbourne next weekend to face Collingwood – whether through concussion or possible suspension.
“Sandilands (was) looking to make the contact, so that will be interesting during the week,” Fox Footy commentator David King said.
Sandilands has played all 10 games for Fremantle this year after managing just 15 in the previous two seasons combined due to a series of injuries.
With Sean Darcy (knee) still at least three weeks away, Michael Apeness is likely next in line to step up in the ruck department should Sandilands be unable to face Collingwood.
Apeness has had 32 hitouts in each of his past two WAFL games for Fremantle’s affiliate side Peel.